Montrose Basin centre reopens after enhancement project

Youngsters Jamie Smart, Wallace Baird and Archie Oakley got a sneak preview of the refurbished visitor centre before the official re-opening to the public.

Youngsters Jamie Smart, Wallace Baird and Archie Oakley got a sneak preview of the refurbished visitor centre before the official re-opening to the public.

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The Scottish Wildlife Trust’s Montrose Basin Visitor Centre has reopened to the public following a successful £60,000 enhancement project.

Thanks to supporters including National Lottery players through the Heritage Lottery Fund the displays in the four-star visitor centre have been given a fresh new look, including video screens showing wildlife highlights from throughout the year.

Environmentally friendly LED lighting has been installed to light up the interpretation areas thanks to SUEZ Communities Trust (formerly SITA Trust).

Regional Visitor Centre Manager Caroline Hendry said: “We’re confident that visitors will love the new changes to our centre. The displays were starting to show their age so it was fantastic to receive support from National Lottery players to refresh them.

“Our visitor centre is a great place to find out about the importance of wetland habitats, or simply sit with a coffee and watch wildlife through our viewing window. 200 different birds have been seen on the basin, so it’s well worth coming back regularly to see a variety of wildlife, and watch how the reserve changes through the year.”

Lucy Casot, Head of HLF Scotland, said: “Our natural heritage is a most precious resource and, thanks to National Lottery players, HLF grants have helped to protect an amazing range of landscapes, habitats, and species of plants and animals. HLF is delighted to support the Enhancing the Visitor Journey at Montrose Basin project that will stimulate people’s interest in the natural world and so help them conserve it for future generations.”

Angus Council’s Communities convener Donald Morrison said: “It’s fantastic to see the centre open again and I like many others look forward to seeing how a unique resource of local and international significance has been enhanced still further.

“The Montrose Basin Visitor Centre gives the public, including community groups and countless school children, the chance to interact with the species on the reserve and learn more about the wildlife on their doorstep. It is a great visitor attraction that has drawn people to Montrose from far and wide for the past 20 years. I’m sure it will continue to inspire and enlighten all ages for generations to come.”

Montrose Basin reserve is a haven for wildlife, best known for attracting tens of thousands of wintering pink-footed geese. The reserve is also home to common seals and a wide range of wading birds.

The enhancement project received a £37,800 award from the Heritage Lottery Fund. It also received support from the Crown Estate, SUEZ Communities Trust, and the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s North Angus, and Dundee & Angus Local Groups.

Montrose Basin Visitor Centre is open daily from 10.30am to 5pm until winter hours begin on October 31.